Updated: Feb 22
One of the best things about travel is getting to experience new things: new environments, new adventures, new people. But over the past year, we’ve had to minimize exposure to the unfamiliar. These days, we move through the world in pods and bubbles for the sake of safety and comfort. We’re leaning toward privacy in every part of our lives—at home, at work, and even in travel.
When we think of “private travel,” we often imagine the most over-the-top, extravagant trips.
Yet, customizable and small-group experiences are available at nearly every price point, and the options are only growing in number and quality.
These days, there are even ways to book yourself onto a private trip where the planning has been done for you: travel companies like Trafalgar and Travelsphere offer multi-stop itineraries that cover food, lodging, and activities (and sometimes flights). Gather a big enough group, and you can pick a private group tour, then customize it to your tastes. For more intimate groups, services like GetYourGuide or Airbnb Experiences offer single-day experiences that you and your companions can easily book out, like a cooking class for six with a pastry chef in Paris or a solo sunset sail off the coast of Barcelona.
Of course, if the planning (and corralling friends and family) feels like too much, you can always enlist a travel specialist to fulfill your dreams—while keeping your desire for seclusion in mind.
Private travel doesn’t have to define an entire experience, either. It can also improve the little moments between departure and arrival: resting at an airport lounge on a layover, calling a hotel concierge for reservations in a city where you don’t speak the language, arranging for a car service to pick you up from the airport. Personalized attention and tailored hospitality can make all the difference on a trip. These extra elements elevate the parts of traveling that feel like a chore into chances to be cared for, giving you more precious time with your travel companions—or with yourself. These experiences, whether big or small, can add a new dimension to your adventures, making the return to travel that much sweeter.